The time of the witr salah of Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam)

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

In the following Hadith, what is meant?

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) read witr in the beginning and middle of the night and then further it is mentioned that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) ended his witr just before dawn?

عن عائشة أم المؤمنين: مِنْ كُلِّ اللَّيْلِ قدْ أَوْتَرَ رَسولُ اللهِ ﷺ مِن أَوَّلِ اللَّيْلِ، وَأَوْسَطِهِ، وَآخِرِهِ، فانْتَهى وِتْرُهُ إلى السَّحَرِ
صحيح مسلم ٧٤٥



This means that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) on separate occasions, had offered his witr salah at different times of the night; sometimes at the beginning of the night [after ‘Isha], sometimes in the middle and his habit then became to offer his witr at the end of the night.

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 996 and ‘Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 996)


This is to illustrate that no time of the night is binding for the witr salah, although the preferred time is the last part of the night.

The last part of the Hadith (which is underlined in the question above) should be translated as:

‘…eventually his witr ended up [being offered] at sehri time.’


Some ‘Ulama have explained that it is possible that when he (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) was ill, he offered the witr at the beginning of the night, so as to rest for the entire remainder of the night, and while on journey, he offered it in the middle, as the travellers had a habit of resting at the end of the night. Or he (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) could have done so to demonstrate its permissibility.

However, the preferred time to Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) was at the end of the night (i.e, after tahajjud salah).

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 996 and ‘Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 996)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

This answer was collected from The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist. 

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